President Obama should lose the training wheels
Last Friday's televised meeting between President Obama and House Republicans at their retreat in Baltimore was a universal win (of varying degrees, of course). Obama faced his toughest critics and showed a mastery of his policies and theirs. The Republicans won, too. They were given a platform to showcase and defend their ideas, which Democrats have said don't exist. Most importantly, the American people won. Rather than the usual partisan bickering that masquerades as thoughtful debate around here, they were treated to an honest exchange of ideas that was breathtaking in its directness and civility.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
But the thing that was most striking about the event is how much better Obama is when he liberates himself from his glass training wheels. I speak of the TelePrompTer that he carts around with him everywhere. I can understand using it for a nationally televised address such as the State of the Union. But at the equivalent of a staff meeting? Take a look at this video of last week's meeting of the Middle Class Task Force. The words might be important, but zzzzzzz.
Obama needs to do more events like the GOP retreat and today's live YouTube Q & A (which will be available later today). It would go a long way to reconnecting the president with the people. And his ability to handle any and all questions put to him will remind them of why they voted for him.
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